Tesco is rumoured to introduce biometric payment methods – including face and palm recognition – at the checkout by early next year.
Some reports have said that the move will see the UK’s largest supermarket moving away from cash and card payments, with others suggesting they will no longer be accepted at all. Many consumers are apprehensive about the technology, seeing it as one step closer to a cashless society.
However, it is widely believed that biometric recognition software – which allow authentication based on physical characteristics – would lead to shorter queues, be more hygienic than tapping in a pin, and is significantly less vulnerable to fraud.
Tesco Bank recently partnered with Onfido, the global identity and authentication provider, to provide a secure application process for new Clubcard Pay+ customers. It used biometric identity verification and AI technology to offer a “smooth and fast online user journey” for customer applications.
Customers are already able to use either fingerprint or ‘Face ID’ biometric login when they use Tesco Pay+, the app that lets customers pay for shopping, collect Clubcard points, and track their spending from their phone.
The move follows Amazon rolling out biometric palm scanning technology at its Whole Foods grocery stores allowing shoppers to pay with nothing but their hands.
Mastercard also recently launched new technology which allows consumers to pay for goods with their face or hand at checkout. The global credit card provider launched the program for retailers to offer the new biometric payment solutions earlier this month.
In a tweet, a Tesco customer said: “I’ve just had an interesting conversation with a staff member at Tesco who has confirmed that Tesco will be implementing biometric payments (face & palms) by early next year. They will no longer be accepting cash or cards.”
However, this has lead to many social media customers threatening to boycott the Big 4 grocer.
One user said it is “time to ditch Tesco” and “say no to their new surveillance society”.